-- Companies Look To Connect with the
Diverse Fan Base as It Approaches 12th Season --
NEW YORK, April 8, 2008 – The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) announced today that it has agreed to new marketing relationships with Kia Motors America, Inc., Pitney Bowes Inc. and IHOP Corp.
These three companies have formed marketing alliances with the WNBA in an effort to connect with the league’s passionate fan base of young girls, women and families.
“These new marketing relationships are indicative of the value the WNBA provides to marketers with our diverse fan base, role model athletes and business resources, which all contribute to our ability to deliver successful results for companies,” said WNBA President Donna Orender. “We take pride in the strength of our partnerships and look forward to a great 2008 season.”
Kia Motors America’s partnership with the WNBA makes the automaker an official partner of the league and the WNBA Draft 2008 presented by adidas, which will be held on April 9 in Tampa, Fla. As part of this multi-faceted marketing alliance, Kia will receive courtside signage, national advertising exposure, and will have extensive presence at the draft including a prominent vehicle display. This partnership with the WNBA further deepens the company’s commitment to professional basketball, which also includes a partnership with the NBA that makes it the league’s “official automotive partner” and relationships with 16 NBA teams.
Pitney Bowes has signed with the WNBA to help raise awareness and funding for literacy by supporting the WNBA “Read to Achieve” program and through the launch of a comprehensive new national literacy program. The program is a fundraising effort that will include a donation from special tickets sold for designated home games of six WNBA teams: the Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Los Angeles Sparks, New York Liberty, Seattle Storm and Washington Mystics. A portion of the ticket proceeds will support a community center or program chosen by each team and fans who participate in the program will be seated in a special section at the designated home games. The team that raises the most money as a result of the ticket sales initiative will have a refurbished reading and learning center dedicated in the name of that team in its market.
As part of its partnership, IHOP will serve as a WNBA Half-Time presenter and will support the “WNBA.com Pick One Fantasy Challenge,” the league’s new daily pick fantasy game. As the WNBA Half-Time Presenter, IHOP will receive on-air exposure in national game broadcasts on ABC and ESPN2 including courtside signage and on screen presence during the halftime show.
About the WNBA
Comprised of 14 teams and entering its 12th season, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women’s professional team sports league in America. The 2008 season tips off May 17 with ESPN2 again providing appointment viewing in the form of its “WNBA Tuesdays” telecasts. Combined coverage on ABC and ESPN2 will include 21 national telecasts, while NBA TV, the league’s 24-hour television network, will offer 70 regular-season contests.
The WNBA is deeply committed to WNBA CARES programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on promoting health and fitness, breast health awareness, reading and youth basketball programs. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.
About Kia Motors America, Inc.
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 640 dealers throughout the United States. For 2007, KMA recorded its 14th consecutive year of record U.S. sales. Kia Motors subscribes to a philosophy of building high value, high quality, safe and dynamic vehicles. Kia Motors prides itself on producing vehicles that are exciting and enabling and evoke the Kia tagline "The Power to Surprise."
Kia Motors America is the "Official Automotive Partner of the NBA." Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its Web site – www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.
About Pitney Bowes Inc.
Pitney Bowes is a mailstream technology company that helps organizations manage the flow of information, mail, documents and packages. Our 35,000 employees deliver technology, service and innovation to more than two million customers worldwide. The company was founded in 1920 and annual revenues now total $6.1 billion. More information is available at www.pb.com.
About IHOP Corp.
Based in Glendale, California, IHOP Corp. franchises and operates restaurants under the International House of Pancakes, or IHOP, and the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar brands. With more than 3,300 restaurants combined, IHOP Corp. is the largest full-service restaurant company in the world. IHOP Corp.'s common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol "IHP." For more information on IHOP Corp., visit the Investor Relations section of the Company's Web site located at www.ihop.com.